Director: Paolo Azarraga
Asst. Director: Rami Accoumeh
Cinematographer: Chris Lew
Styling: Diego Armand
Hair & Makeup:
Aveda Canada Creative
Monty (NEXT Canada) + Samantha (Plutino)

A special short fashion film project in collaboration with the Aveda Canada Creative Team. Clothing provided by Greta Constantine, Sandro, Pink Tartan & Topshop.

Editorial: JACKED
Photographer: May Truong
Styling: Diego Armand
Hair : Kristjan Hayden (Aveda/Plutino)
Makeup: Melanie Whitmore (Civello)
Model: Zanana @ Elite
Art Direction: Sarah MacKinnon

Kristjan Hayden gives us the beauty inspo that he lived for this past summer. All paired with clean basics (a word that needs to be re-purposed for the good) A white shirt, black Perfecto, a black Dress and white Chucks. The rest is magic. Clothing provided by Greta Constantine & jewelery provided by Kavut.com

Title image,jacket, BLKDNM. Crop Top, Greta Constantine. Jeans & shoes, Zanana's own.
This page, dress, left by Greta Constantine. Top, right by Greta Constantine. Bracelet, Ina Beissner, and rings, Lynn Bann, both available at Kavut.com

Top, Greta Constantine. Pants, Topman Design.

Shirt, ACNE. Customized Headpiece by Melanie Whitmore & Kristjan Hayden.

Dress left, and bodysuit, right both by Greta Constantine. Left, coil ring, Lynn Ban, bracelet (top), Ina Beissner. Earring & nose-ring (right) custom by Melanie Whitmore.

Custom Headpiece by Kristjan Hayden. Jacket, BLKDNM. Dress, H&M. Bracelet, Ina Beissner.

Text: Diego Armand
Photos: Michelle Yee

In late July Perfecto Mag was invited to the Keepers of the Craft event hosted by Pilsner Urquell & Bar Isabel at the first annual Taste of Toronto Festival in the Historic area of Fort York. You tend to forget how much more alive the city is during warm weather months. Summer festivals are the perfect way to remind you to get outside and take advantage of the short-lived heat before we eventually retreat back into our hibernation holes.

Pilsner Urquell’s Keeper of the Craft series is an exploration of true and local craftsmanship and their events celebrate the dedication that comes from wanting to produce the best of your craft. It’s not often we get invited to food and drink events so I was delighted to have the opportunity to experience something new involving one of my favourite restaurants in the city. (Read More)

It was already a great start to the day. It began with a beer! We (photog Michelle Yee, and I) instantly noticed Bar Isabel’s executive Chef Grant Van Gameren, carving up jamón alongside multiple colourful and delicious tapas plates found on their signature menu. But we were wondering why no one was eating?

If you haven’t been to Bar Isabel yet, it’s probably because you haven’t been able to make a reservation. It’s the best mix of casual dining with a mixed crowd that still makes you want to put some effort in how you look. It could also be why it’s still one of the most talked about (and booked solid) restaurants in the city. But most importantly it's the Spanish tapas style menu that will make you want to crave the place after your first visit.

Bar Isabel's executive chef, Grant Van Gameren carves Jamón Iberico de Bellota.

Bar Isabel was born after Grant spent a two-month long trip to Europe (the first time he travelled out of the country since the age of 16). After travelling to Copenhagen and Italy he eventually landed in Spain, where he fell in love with the people, the architecture and most importantly the food and the approach to social eating. Since then he’s been a handful of times and always brings back new inspiration to the Little Italy-located hot spot.

It turns out our interactive experience was a casual Pincho competition. Pinchos are small snacks eaten in bars in San Sebastian, Spain. They are made of ready-to-eat ingredients stacked on a slice of bread held together by a skewer (the word actually means spike). They definitely look and taste better than I could ever describe, especially when you have the choice of using delicious elements like cured meats, cheeses and canned seafood direct from Spain. Van Gameren emphasized that canned seafood is a cherished ingredient in Europe and is much more fresh (and pricier) than the Canadian selection. We were lucky to have had him include some examples from his very recent to Spain.

Historic Fort York (left), our Pincho ingredients (right.)

We were then put into smaller groups and encouraged to use every ingredient and make a mess big with napkins as they wanted this to be the ultimate hands-on experience. The refreshing unfiltered Pilsner Urquell helped to get our creative juices (and confidence) flowing. Some pinchos were sky-high and mouth-watering.

I have to admit a bit of anxiety kicked in when I found out we would be competing with food. Although I'm a huge fan of great food (and food TV) I would definitely categorize myself as a novice when it comes to making it. But this was more about creative assembly, making sure the right flavours and textures were combined, with a serious element of presentation added in.

I opted for a simple breakfast-sandwich approach of jamón, quail egg and tomato with a pickle on top of a slice of bread. Once we were finished we had to present our best pincho on a platter and eagerly wait for Grant to pick the best in show. More importantly, once the prize pincho was selected we had to finish whatever ingredients left at our workstation. Don’t mind if we do, as long as there was cold beer to wash it down.

Group Green's pinchos in the running.

Former Canadian Olympic volleyball player Martin Reader stacks his submissions.

What stuck out the most was that when I ran into Sidewalk Hustle’s Hawley Dunbar earlier in the day I asked her if she was ready to make some food, and instead she told me she was “ready to win.” And that she did! I was fortunate enough to eat her pincho and it was definitely worthy of her proud, winning smile. She won dinner for two at Bar Isabel, but I wonder if it includes a guaranteed reservation?

Sidewalk Hustle's Hawley Dunbar's winning smile with Grant Van Gameren (also pictured with Tristan Banning in top left), Harry Rosen's Adam Martin (far right.)

At Perfecto we mostly like to discuss ideas of style and fashion within our lifestyle but what really spoke to us from an experience like this was this idea of true collaboration (this time, a top notch but still casual restaurant mixed with a long standing beer company) but also the idea of preserving hands-on experiences and showing that loving what you do can come from passion and the little details you put into it. – Diego Armand

Bar Isabel is at 797 College St, Toronto, (416) 532-2222 @bar_isabel


Photos: Patrick Lacsina
Styling: Patrick Lacsina
Grooming: Mark Jordy Gonzales

Models: Sam Freedberg (Elmer Olsen/IMG), Mac (Elite), Jordan Radics (Push), Hari and Andrew (Spot 6)
Clothing Provided by: H&M, Joe Fresh, Levi’s, One Teaspoon Awesome, Sister Lane, Topman, Topshop, Your Neighbors, Zara.

Story: Michelle Yee
Photos: May Truong

The 5th annual Terraza di Peroni took place last Wednesday in the heart of Toronto, at the exclusive Malaparte, nestled onto the rooftop of the TIFF Bell Lightbox, which I would also consider one of the best outdoor spaces in the city. It only took one glance about the room to confirm: this is where the beautiful come out to play. Fashion Insider Glen Baxter, once even called it his “favourite party of the summer.”
(Read More)

While people-watching and free beer are always huge draws, I was definitely there to see the collaborations created for the Peroni Art Series, where nine Canadian luminaries were invited to share their personal snapshots captured in Italy, as well as their stories behind them. The images and memories were then re-imagined by emerging Canadian artists who each created original artwork that captured these personal connections. Personally, I’m in love with all things Italian. I am in love with the culture, style, design, architecture, I even married a good Italian boy and I of course love the food as if it were my birthright. And clearly, I’m not alone.

One of the first pieces that drew me in was a monochromatic piece created by Ianick Raymond. While his work can often be up to 8 feet in width and is rarely in a circular format, there was a radiant energy in his methodical and meticulous piece that invited closer inspection and called to my inner sci-fi geek. Its perfect symmetry, precise angles and exacting shades of grey speak to a process that possesses patience and persistence in spades.

Which makes it easy to connect the dots in reverse from Raymond’s painting to the original photograph of Rome’s famed Pantheon, captured by fashion director George Antonopoulos. While he has only been to Italy a few times, on each visit he somehow found himself at the Pantheon.

Having been there myself, it’s hard not to be deeply affected by the architectural wonder. The Pantheon, with its famed oculus, was reportedly built in 126AD. I can barely put together a chair from Ikea but the Romans somehow could envision and build such a magnificent place, over 1800 years ago. Antonopoulos was kind to laugh at my dad joke (which was still mostly true.)

Next to Raymond and Antonopoulos’ collaboration was the vibrant and evocative piece created by the pairing of founder / designer of the label 18 Waits, Daniel Torjman, with painter Andy DeCola.

Torjman’s original photograph features him and his father, walking together on a street in Rome during their first ever trip to Italy together. In the photo, Torjman is seen writing in his Field Notes book (a constant companion), while his father strolls alongside, imparting wisdom like falling leaves. It is a photo that poetically encapsulates Italian family values.

It was up to Andy DeCola to re-imagine Torjman’s original photograph and as DeCola’s process involves using appropriated images as well as layering paintings upon paintings, being paired together with Torjman was, in his words, “a perfect fit.”

Using Torjman’s photo as a starting point, both visually and thematically, DeCola rendered the photo and then layered overtop the abstracted image of a mountain top, suggesting the journey that Torjman and his father embarked upon. With its rich and bold colour palette, it transforms that personal moment in Torjman’s history and invites the viewer to recall their own memories of happy times shared with family.

Of which I have many. If there was one thing that I’ve learned since marrying into my Italian family, they really do know how to live la vita bella, and I’ve never wanted to go back to visit as I do now.

-Michelle Yee is a photographer who also fancies herself to be an occasional writer and, in a perfect world, would surf every day and own a carefully curated shoe collection.


Photographer: May Truong
Art Direction: J.T. Ivanov
Style Editor + Text :
Diego Armand

  Getting more posts...